Ben Musser was schooled in jazz, rock, classical guitar and voice, and furthered his musical growth by immersing himself in artist communities in Nashville, Austin and New York City. Musser played guitar and drums for several bands before dedicating himself to his current indie-acoustic roots project. He started Benyaro in New York City, but the band currently is being nourished in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Benyaro performs most frequently as a duo where Musser sings and plays guitar, kick drum, hi-hat, shaker, and harmonica while being accompanied by an upright bass player. Benyaro's third original full-length album, One Step Ahead of Your Past, was released on September 8, 2017.
At the Bowery Electric tonight, Musser used his two hands to play his acoustic guitar, although his right hand would occasionally swing away from the guitar to slap a high-hat cymbal. His right foot played a bass drum. Sometimes his head would tilt down so his mouth could blow into a harmonica that hung from his neck brace. He sang soulful, rootsy songs that hearkened to early blues, and yet were jittery and off-kilter enough to qualify as indie-rock. Between songs, Musser joked with his sole accompanist, Leif Routman, who played an upright bass and sporadically provided vocal harmony. The result was a curious blend of organic, earthy songs that sounded equally inspired by Americana and indie musics.
Visit Benyaro at www.benyaro.com.